Skip to main content

Nathanael Gentry

That was fast!

CLOSED: [2020-07-06 Mon 19:56]Another week has gone by quite quickly. After taking some time off for Independence Day here in the US, I can’t believe that another Monday has passed. Last week I talked about a major update to our renderer, and I finished that pretty early last week. There was some major refactoring involved, but my work – splitting out our renderer into a Stage class and moving to traditional dirty-rects handling – worked well with some of the major refactoring that djsrv had been wanting to do for a while.

A third of the way done!

Hello again! This week wrapped up the fourth week of coding, which means that there are about 8 weeks left until GSoC finishes and it’s time for me to go back to school. This week, I spent the early part of the week fixing up our rendering pipeline. It is fun to work on, since it’s so fundamental to the engine, but many bugs are quite difficult to track down. A big part of this was more closely integrating Director’s internal state memory, now kept in the Channel class that I wrote, with the “widgets” that the window manager knows about.

Making progress

Hey guys! I started off last week attempting to get the infamous zoomBox working with the new rendering pipeline I wrote for our Director engine. A zoomBox effect is the classic window movement animation in classic Mac OS: When you open or close a window, you see many spectral rectangles in between the window’s origin and destination. Even though I haven’t seen any games actually use it, this function was the first motivation I was given reworking the rendering pipeline.

A busy week

Last week, I finished up the tasks that had dragged me down, and then I moved on to sundry other topics. Now our Director engine renders The Apartment, a demo movie that MacroMind and later Macromedia developed for the early Directors, in greater fidelity. One of the issues that took a while to figure out was that, in the Director 3 version of The Apartment, GUI buttons had a special type that were not stored in the usual place.

In the widget weeds

Last time, I promised I would give an update on QuickDraw and the Macintosh GUI emulator. This second major part of reworking the rendering pipeline, which i thought I could finish in the first week of coding, has taken more time and gone deeper than I expected. When I am coding I am well aware of wasting time in shaving the yak. I mentioned in our Discord the other day that I might have experienced mission creep.

Settling the score

Google Summer of Code 2020 officially started today, although throughout May I worked regularly on the Macromedia Director engine’s rendering pipeline. In the middle of May I replaced the long-standing frame-based renderer – which redrew the entire screen every frame – with a channel-based approach. This first part of the project brought me in touch with most of the other ScummVM Director devs, which was a nice touch for GSoC’s Community Bonding Period.

Macromedia mysteries

This summer, I will be helping bring the Macromedia Director engine to maturity as my project for Google Summer of Code 2020. Tonight I found myself quite deep in a major rewrite of the core rendering pipeline, and when I got tired of that I decided to finally learn how to use Hugo. That’s why you are reading this now.